Trip Planning for a Multi Day Solo Ride

One of the maps I created from my last solo trip several years ago down to NC

One of the maps I created from my last solo trip several years ago down to NC

I’m going to be riding this week somewhere. Initially I was thinking of going back South, towards the Carolinas, Virginias and Tennessee. I really love the riding down there, so I guess I just am drawn to going back there. I’m open to going North instead, but I don’t honestly know much about the riding in that direction.

Unfortunately the weather this week has hampered my leaving on time because if I don’t absolutely have to, I would rather NOT ride in the rain all day for 2 days. So I will leave as soon as the weather lets up tomorrow, or Tuesday morning if need be.

Someone asked me about my trip planning and what / how I am going to plan for something like this. Well, for me, it’s not going to be too much work, but I will be thinking about the following things.

But I won’t know exactly what I’m doing until I sort out all the people that i want to meet up with first. I know people have lives, so I certainly don’t expect everyone to meet me on my schedule. I will likely play a lot of my day to day destinations by ear.

Me and my friend Tamela meeting up 4 years ago in West Virginia. That was a fantastic trip!

Me and my friend Tamela meeting up 4 years ago in West Virginia. That was a fantastic trip!

Who Do I Want to Visit? Who Wants to Meet Up, and Where?

I’ll be looking a routes and using an online planning tool, Furkot.com. It’s my favorite tool for long distance planning because it takes in to consideration your mileage per day, hours you want to travel, breaks, gas stops and hotel stops. I can also take the route and import it into my iPhone app, InRoute. It’s freaking amazing.

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How Many Points Do I Have for Free Hotel Nights?

(I’m NOT a moto camper, this queen needs a real bed and shower)

Who can say no to free hotel rooms? I have some points with Holiday Inn Express so I will likely route some nights onto those if I’m not staying with a friend. We’ll see.

What’s My Daily Budget?

Of course, doing a trip like this costs money! Hopefully between the free hotel nights and 1 or 2 friend’s couches, I will only have to pay for my food and gas. Not too bad. I’m a huge Waffle House Fan so i will be looking for those as much as possible. :D

Am I the only one who LOVES Waffle House while traveling? #smothered #covered

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What Gear?

For this trip, I’ll have to take my trusty Revit Neptune GTX Suit. It’s a full multiseason suit with two removable liners; one is waterproof and the other one is thermal. So since the temperatures are going to be cooler from the high 40s/low 50s at night to mid 70s in the afternoon, depending how high the elevation is I’ll need something very versatile. I know that it’s going to rain on my way out of Philly and possibly coming back in next Monday. #firstworldproblems

I also will be taking my cool weather, waterproof Rukka Gloves, and my Dainese Torque Out boots. I do have Daytonas for when there’s heavy rain riding but if I’m only going to be in light to moderate rain, I don’t mind my Dainese because they’re water resistant and that’s good enough. The majority of this trip is dry and cool, so I can easily make those work. Daytonas are so bulky and heavy, it’s hard to go back to that kind of touring boot when you wear lightweight sport boots so much .

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I’ll also be wearing my Shoei RF-1200 because I need a quieter helmet, and my Bell is SO LOUD (even with earplugs). It’s also so tight, that for 8 hours a day it’s just too much. That’s really my summer, light riding helmet. I decided not to spend money right now on the Cardo Freecom 4+ headset that I’ve been drooling over. I will probably wait until Summer.

The reason I want to convert is because of the JBL speakers and the jogdial! Oooooohhhh. It has a very low profile, just like my current Sena 10R. But with these two vastly different features, I think it’ll jut be a much better headset overall. And the fact that it’s waterproof is a HUGE bonus.

What Luggage?

With my Triumph, I always use my Kriegas. They’re simply the best traveling luggage for low profile, waterproof, non saddlebag-hanging luggage with maximum volume. For trips like these, I have 40 Liters of packable space which doesn’t include my little Cortech tankbag.

Emergencies?

For emergencies, I’ll have my AAA membership and my AMA membership handy. I’ll also find the closest Triumph dealers and metric line dealers that might be able to help me if I have to get something fixed or serviced. My bike is in pretty good shape, so I don’t anticipate any issues but if I do, these will be my main lifelines.

I’ll carry just a few things might come in handy as far as tools and supplies:

  • Antigravity Microstart Power Supply with me in case I need a jump

  • a tire gauge

  • zip ties

  • folded duct tape

  • folding leatherman

  • allen key tool because pretty much everything on my bike can be tightened/loosended with 4 metric sizes

And that’s it! I can’t prepare for everything, so I’ll do my best and know that I can call for help if I need it. I’m mostly going to stick to paved, highway roads and will let my husband know what I’ll be doing every day so if I’m alone, someone knows where I’m headed.

Join Me on The Lean Angle

(Left: Alisa Clickenger/ Women’s Motorcycle Tours , Right: Porsche Taylor/ Black Girls Ride Mag ,)

(Left: Alisa Clickenger/Women’s Motorcycle Tours, Right: Porsche Taylor/Black Girls Ride Mag,)

I never have enough to do so I started a brand new motorcycle show on Facebook, called The Lean Angle.

We’ll be streaming live on Facebook, on our page here: Facebook.com/LeanAngleShow.

The Lean Angle will cover a wide range of topics as it relates to motorcycles. Alisa has a strong solo travel, dual sport background (in addition to street touring) and Porsche has a lot of experience in solo travel, sport touring and cruising. And you know me and my sporty bike addiction.

We hope to be on at least once a month for ~60 minutes but will do our best to try and see you a little sooner. With summer around the corner, our schedules are hectic but we all love talking about motorcycles so check out our first episode which aired last night!

And you DON’T even need a Facebook account to watch! But if you do have an account, post a comment in the episode and let us know your thoughts including what kinds of topics you’d like us to cover in future episodes.

Facebook.com/LeanAngleShow

So it doesn’t matter who you are, what/when/how/where you ride. Join us on The Lean Angle!

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Questions About Women's Motorcycle Gear

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Join me in one week when my good friend Alisa Clickenger (Women’s Motorcycle Tours) joins me for a Live QnA about Riding Gear.

When: Monday, March 11th at 3:30pm Pacific / 6:30pm Eastern

Originally, we created this event for a Facebook Group called Motorcycle Mentoring, for women riders look for female mentors. If you’re new to riding and are looking for great advice and feedback from a wonderfully supportive group of women riders, this is the group for you. All riders, all riding lifestyles, all ages.

IMS 2011 at the Women Ride booth: Alisa (left), Me and one of our IMS volunteers

IMS 2011 at the Women Ride booth: Alisa (left), Me and one of our IMS volunteers

I consider Alisa to be one of my mentors and long time friends. When we first met at the IMS 8 years ago, I was inspired by her personal riding stories. She has always been a source of encouragement and motivation for me, and I am so proud to call her my friend.

I’m excited to participate in this QnA and give you all the answers you’ve been waiting for. Whether it’s how to find the right fitting jacket or how to find a pant that fits your body type. And any other gear questions you might have that you’ve been hoping to ask but aren’t sure who can help you find the answers.

How to Join

Register Here

Then wait for your confirmation email containing instructions to join the call Online Live Stream, OR via telephone.

You can also call in just like a conference call and listen in and participate that way if you don’t have access to the internet! If you have any questions, post a comment here or send me an email.

Note that everyone must register individually because you will receive a link that’s specific to your email. You do not have to use your webcam if you don’t want to, either. You can just watch!

Bring your questions or if you’re already a member of the group you can post your questions in the Facebook Event there, or post a comment here.

July 2016: Our friend Porsche (left), Alisa (center) and Me

July 2016: Our friend Porsche (left), Alisa (center) and Me

3 Awesome Jackets for less than $200

Rev’it Tornado Women’s Jacket (v1); Slim Fit

Rev’it Tornado Women’s Jacket (v1); Slim Fit

These women’s motorcycle jackets are on crazy sale at RevZilla right now. I’ve added a few notes for you to see if they’ll fit you the woman rider in your life. If they do, then you’ve just scored a really great deal!

As always, drop me a line if you have questions about sizing or fitment.

1/ Rev’it Tornado Jacket, Euro 40 and 42, now $197.

This jacket is a great 3 season (spring, summer, warm) coat for your sportyish bike, your adv/touring bike and even your cruiser.

My Recommended sizing:

Euro 40 - Chest 42-43”, Waist 41-42”, Hips 43-44

Euro 42 - Chest 44-45”, Waist 42-43”, Hips 44-45

Keep in mind that these numbers are based on measuring your real waist. If you’re not sure how to do this, please watch this video. I know what you’re thinking, the Rev’it Size Chart says otherwise. Let’s just say it’s not perfect. But then again, what is? (okay, Cheesecake. Cheesecake is always perfect).

The Tornado is ideal for slimmer body types and those of you looking for a longer waist and sleeve length. Keep in mind that the liner is removable so always try your linered jackets on with and without the liners to see all the different combos and fitments you might be riding in.

If you’re not sure what to order, think about how snug you like your gear. If you want a very fitted fit and your Chest is 43.75, then order a Euro 42. If you have questions, just let me know!

My friend Sarah in a size small with a 43” Chest, 37.5” Waist, 43” hips. She’s also ~5’2”. Perfect Apple Fit.

My friend Sarah in a size small with a 43” Chest, 37.5” Waist, 43” hips. She’s also ~5’2”. Perfect Apple Fit.

2/ OLYMPIA SWITCHBACK 2 now $149

This is another great 2-3 season jacket, but without a thermal liner I’d say that it’s best as a Spring/Summer jacket. Keep in mind that with Olympia your rain liner can be worn outside or over the jacket when it’s raining.

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The fitment is very, very very generous and I would say that the alpha sizing is oversized. If you generally buy a small, you’ll find it to be a looser small. Especially in the bust, shoulders and hips.

The Switchback is ideal for a very short waist, and generous hips. Think Apple Shape.

For reference, a small fits a woman with a 38” Chest, 34” Waist and 43” Hip. It flares so much at the hips that anyone who needs a very large hip space will fit this jacket (assuming you don’t need a smaller waist as well).

Another great deal right now for the same body type: Cortech for $109. But upgrade the armor with D3O, please!

3/ REV’IT LEVANTE 42 $199.99

My gorgeous friend Alisa (~5’10”) in her Levante (46) Taller Fit.

My gorgeous friend Alisa (~5’10”) in her Levante (46) Taller Fit.

Another 3 season favorite, like the Tornado above. This one has a slightly different fit in that it has extra long sleeves and torso. Also more cinching and adjustments at the waist, forearms and bicep to make it fit tighter without the liner.

Since only 42 is available, you’ll need at least a 41” chest up to 44”. I’d recommend anywhere from a 42” - 45” waist given the adjustability that it has on each side.

The liner is thermal and waterproof so keep in mind that when it’s out the jacket will fit a half size larger. Given how long the sleeves run, this is ideal for someone who is taller and needs as much length as possible in the torso and sleeves.

I hope these help. If you need specific recommendations, please let me know!

The 3 Motorcycle Gloves I Can't Ride Without

My original Racer High End Gloves, crashed back in 2015

My original Racer High End Gloves, crashed back in 2015

I have found that living in a climate with drastically changing temperatures means I’m using 3 different types of gloves throughout the year. When I lived in California I still had 2 key gloves in my closet; one for nice weather and one for wet/cold weather. Those 2 key gloves are still in my closet but I have a 3rd that I reluctantly added that you’ll see below.

The only time of year I do not have gloves for is Winter; ~30F-45F. Because I have no desire to ride when it’s that miserable. (cold tires make Goldie very very unhappy and unsafe)

So I’ve put together a list of the 3 Gloves I Can’t Ride Without. Unfortunately some of them are discontinued but I’ve provided alternative ideas for each category. Having very small, wide hands and shorter fingers means I’m hyper vigilant about finding gloves. When I see something that might fit me and work for my riding seasons I’ll jump on it. That’s how I’ve found all of these in the past 5 years.

1/ Racer High Racer - “My #1, Go Tos”

You should always have a “Go To” glove, the one you grab and want to wear ~75% of the time. These are mine. I’m always wearing these and pretty much live in them for the majority of my riding. Typically I’ll wear them from about 60F to 80F or until the humidity starts driving me crazy. The kangaroo palms breathe well for me and although they need a little more care (like washing once or twice in the summer) I love the protection, comfort and coverage. You can read my full review here including how to get a pair.

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2/ Rukka Apollo - Men’s

These are my ‘winter’ or cold weather gloves. For me, they fit quite well even though they’re men’s gloves because my palms are slightly wider than most women’s hands. Sidenote: if your hands are too big for small/medium women’s gloves but larges are too big then try any European brand (Dainese, Alpinestars, Held, Rukka, Revit, etc.) men’s smalls because they will be bigger than the ladies small/medium but you won’t swim in them like American brands.

But if you have smaller hands, Rukka now offers the Virve for women. If I had to replace my gloves, I would buy these. The main reason I like both of these is the fact that the GoreTex membrane is bonded to the leather (also known as GoreTex XTrafit), so when you pull your hands out the lining doesn’t separate. There aren’t a lot of gloves in that category overall, and then finding a women’s fitting option is even more difficult. The Virve and this Held Air N Dry are the only two currently available like this. The nice thing about the Helds are that they have 2 chambers, so you have something you can wear when it’s not only raining. With the lower, perforated pocket you can use them as a warm weather glove since the palms are perforated. There are certainly a lot of men’s gloves in this category too like:

  • Alpinestars Patron

  • Rukka Imatra

  • Rukka Argosaurus

  • Held Sambia 2 in 1

3/ Held Touch Perforated Gloves . See how there’s only a little bit of ‘bunching’ or ‘gather’ at my palms when I have them in riding position? That’s just right. Not too much, not too tight.

3/ Held Touch Perforated Gloves. See how there’s only a little bit of ‘bunching’ or ‘gather’ at my palms when I have them in riding position? That’s just right. Not too much, not too tight.

As of 2/16/19, these two women’s gloves are on closeout and are the most similar to my Apollos:

  • Held Wizzard. size 6 only (~womens XS/SM); without the hard knuckles and shorter gauntlet. Side note regarding men’s v. women’s motorcycle gloves. Generally men’s gloves have longer fingers, wider and deeper palms, longer hands and wider wrists. I’ve found that women can always fill the length and width of men’s gloves, but never the depth. When I mean depth, I mean the palms. What this means is that when you are using your handgrips, there may be so much extra material there that it can cause rubbing or blisters from constantly rolling off and on your throttle or reaching for your clutch lever. You certainly don’t want your gloves to fit tight like you’re wearing a latex glove, but this is why it’s always important to try your gloves on the bike before you decide to keep them.

  • Rukka Vilma, size 10 (~womens XL); ideal if you can wear the length of a men’s glove for fingers, but you need a narrower palm/hand and a thinner palm/hand space.

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3/ Held Touch Perforated - Women’s (discontinued)

These are a perforated leather glove with almost a full gauntlet. I reserve these for the hottest riding days that I ride in. Sometimes I’ll pack them with my Racers and wear them later in the day when the heat and humidity start to drive me crazy. The main reason I chose this glove was because it was a Perforated Summer glove with a Gauntlet (wrist coverage). I could totally wear short, mesh gloves but I just don’t trust mesh on my hands like I would on my body. And women’s mesh gloves are painfully underprotected with only moderate protection. As with the rest of my gear, I don’t like risking the loss in protection.

Read my review here to find out more of my thoughts on these.

Since they’re discontinued here are a couple alternatives:

Well I hope that helps, I’m dying to go riding. It’s still high 40s here and until Spring shows up I’m going to be trapped on my couch. I’m tempted to fly home just so I can have some decent riding temperatures. Someone go riding for me….

Knuckle protection is definitely necessary, see?

Knuckle protection is definitely necessary, see?

19% of Motorcycle OWNERS in the US are WOMEN!

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL WE’RE DOING.

Read my full article over at Common Tread, with a few shoutouts to female entrpreneurs in the motorcycle world that are starting to take over our industry.

https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/women-are-now-19-percent-of-us-riders-but-thats-not-all-theyre-doing

Wooo Hooo!

Wooo Hooo!

Of course, ask any woman rider and she’ll likely tell you the same thing.

I know that in the last decade I’ve seen it, felt it and experienced it too!

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Motorcycle Ownership Among Women Climbs to 19 Percent

Nov 29, 2018

Motorcycle Industry Council Survey Reveals Continuing Shift in Rider Demographics

IRVINE, Calif., November 29, 2018 – Nearly one in five motorcycle owners is now female, compared with one in 10 less than a decade ago, and the data suggests that women could soon make up one quarter of owners, which would be a major shift in motorcycling demographics, according to the latest national survey by the Motorcycle Industry Council.

Among all age groups, women now make up 19 percent of motorcycle owners. But the 2018 survey showed even greater female ownership within younger generations. Among Gen X motorcycle owners, 22 percent were women; among Gen Y, 26 percent were women.

“As the number of Boomer and mature motorcyclists shrink and are replaced by newer riders, we could soon be looking at a solid 25 percent of motorcycle owners being female,” said Andria Yu, MIC director of communications. “We’ve seen with our own eyes many more women riders — on the roads, on the trails, on the track, with families, at motorcycling events, forming clubs and just being part of everyday group rides. Many people in the industry have worked some 30 years to achieve this, and now the data confirms it: More and more women are getting out there and enjoying motorcycles.”

The MIC polled 2,472 adults nationwide for the 2018 Motorcycle/ATV Owner Survey. For decades, the MIC surveys have served as the census of motorcycling, and have tracked a steady growth in the percentage of women who own bikes.

“Major efforts to increase the number of women riders go back to the late 1980s when top manufacturers and distributors came together and formed Discover Today’s Motorcycling, the industry outreach program built to introduce new riders to two-wheeling,” said Cam Arnold, a longtime industry executive who is organizing a Women in Powersports networking event this evening in New York City. “The first DTM project in the 1980s spotlighted the historic 1916 Van Buren sisters ride across the country and garnered much media attention. Throughout the 1990s and on till today, the big brands have dedicated increasing amounts of attention to the women’s market, and we’ve simply seen more and more positive imagery on TV, in movies and in many mainstream settings where women on motorcycles are just having fun.”

The 2018 owner survey also found that women motorcycle owners spend, on average, $574 a year on tires, routine repairs, maintenance, replacement parts, and accessories and modifying equipment, compared with $497 by men.

“We’ve seen particularly strong growth in the aftermarket sector for women,” said Cinnamon Kernes, newly appointed vice president and general manager of MIC Events and the American International Motorcycle Expo presented by Nationwide, the largest powersports trade and consumer show in North America. “Over the past decade, more women are designing riding gear and other products specifically for female riders, working in major companies or creating their own brands. Having gear designed for women by women was a huge step and has certainly helped encourage female ridership.”

The Women in Powersports gathering today will be at the Manhattan showroom and factory of Breaking Hearts & Burning Rubber, a company owned and operated by women producing motorcycle gear and apparel for women.

Motorcycling has grown in popularity and acceptance in American culture in recent decades, which is reflected in the survey. It found that 66 percent of women motorcycle owners say their family and friends would have a positive attitude toward motorcycles and scooters.

Additional data on women riders, and all riders, from the MIC’s 2018 Motorcycle/ATV Owner Survey, will be spotlighted and discussed at tonight’s Women in Powersports event and at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show this weekend at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.

The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues, and the American International Motorcycle Expo. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories and related goods and services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.

The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at www.mic.org.

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Plus Size Jackets for Women

How do you find jackets that fit you when you don’t know where to begin?

Well, I’m here to give you some shortcuts. I wish this was easy. It’s impossible to know what’s going to fit me if I have a 45” chest, a 43” waist and a 48” hip?

I’ve been doing some research where I work lately, and fortunately I have the luxury of doing this for a living at RevZilla. We have a wonderful store in Philadelphia and if you’re a woman who needs help getting geared up I hope you’ll reach out and drop me a line so I can help.

Tourmaster Sonora Air  - 3 Season Versatility!

Tourmaster Sonora Air - 3 Season Versatility!

Recently I’ve been looking at a series of plus size, larger jackets. Because I know that the majority of American women out there are larger. So I’ve made a list for you and I can tell you that these all have fitments and sizing that mean those of you looking for jackets to fit anywhere from a 40” to 55” chest have options.

There are European Brands that I know can fit larger women as well but I haven’t had a chance to research the sizing yet. For now, this is my list of recommendations but I promise to add and update it when I have enough information to add them to this list.

Olympia Airglide 5

multiseason, waterproof, mesh, summer, spring, fall, 3 season warm, mild winter

The Airglide is a 3 season (Spring, Summer, Fall and California/Florida winters) mesh jackt with 2 removable liners; one thermal and one waterproof. The waterproof liner is actually a standalone jacket which can be worn on the OUTSIDE of the jacket. Yes, OVER the jacket itself to keep you dry. Remember to deliner this one completely when you try it on so you can try it in hot weather and cold weather arrangements.

Wearing a size MEDIUM, Chest 46 / Waist 43.5 / Hips 48. She’s wearing it with ALL the liners zipped in. This is what I call Proper Fit.

Wearing a size MEDIUM, Chest 46 / Waist 43.5 / Hips 48. She’s wearing it with ALL the liners zipped in. This is what I call Proper Fit.

I’ve personally fit hundreds of women in Olympia. I love the quality, fit and versatility that they offer. In a size Small, I can fit someone with up to a 43” hip because it has a perfect cutout over the hips. It’s also slightly shorter waisted so it allows the jacket to sit higher on the hips.

In a 3X, I’ve fit someone with a 53” Bust, 48” Waist and 58” Hip. This is with ALL liners inside the jacket.

Now imagine taking the liners out and how much more room you will have! Please keep in mind that since it’s not a Winter specific jacket, you will not likely wear all the liners inside. Since the rain jacket can be worn inside or out, you will likely wear one liner but not the other.

I also want to share this photo of how you might need to zip the jacket up because riding jackets are sewn and designed for you to wear them in the riding position.

My friend and coworker Chrissy is zipping up two different jackets below, one is the older Olympia Airglide 4 Jacket (as opposed to the 5th version above) and the Rev’it Ladies Ignition 2 Jacket. See? It just takes a little bend forward. :)

Granted, the Ignition is a much more relaxed fit across the chest, so depending on your personal comfort (and riding position) you may prefer the Olympia fit over the Rev’it and that’s totally up to you!

Rev’it Ignition 3 Jacket

leather, mesh, hybrid, sport, sport touring, summer, waterproof

In the 3 photos above, next to the Silver Airglide, she’s wearing a Rev’it Ignition 2 Jacket. The fitment has not changed from 2 to 3, and sizing is the same. I will say that the shoulders run tighter so this is ideal if you have a REALLY generous bust in relation to your shoulders. This also runs closer to the sport/sport touring fit too. Keep in mind the torso can run long so if you are really short waisted AND busty, then this may not work well for you because the sleeves and torso might run too long. When that happens, the collar tends to ride up towards the bottom of your helmet.

Here are a few more on the list that I want to recommend for the bustier gals out there:

Tourmaster Sonora Air Jacket

mesh, waterproof, 3season warm, spring, summer

This is a photo of my friend and coworker, Stephanie. She’s wearing a size MD Plus, and her measurements are: 50 Chest, 45 Waist, 45 Hips. The Sonora has a shorter waist and sleeve overall compared to Rev’it, but it tends to be slightly longer in both areas than the Olympia Airglide above.

Klim Artemis Jacket

goretex, waterproof, multiseason, adventure, dual sport, spring, summer, fall, winter

The same person wearing the Sonora above also fits this jacket in a 2XL. The Sonora runs even longer than the others in the sleeves and waist because it’s a true Adventure Jacket; meant for a woman riding dirtbikes or dual sports. So that when you’re standing on the pegs, getting through a water crossing you’ll have plenty of coverage.

I know there are more options than this, but I wanted to give you a sense of what might fit you depending on your riding lifestyle.

As always, I’m here to help if you need personalized help finding something that fits you regardless of your size.

Cyber Monday Motorcycle Deal

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Cyber Monday is almost over. I just bought this 50% off deal from Rever. If you’re looking for turn by turn directions, and a reason to get rid of your Garmin, try this app. You have to purchase the premium version to get the best features, but based on what I’ve read and other user’s feedback, it’s worth trying for $30 for a year rather than $400-$600 for a gps device.

https://a.rever.co/

Cyber Monday Code: BlackFriday2018

As much as I love using my other app (iPhone only) inRoute , I’m excited to try something different, since it was made specifically for motorcyclists!

Riding with CLASS Motorcycle School at Virginia International Raceway

Nope, we didn’t crash and have to get our bikes towed! (Kendon Motorcycle Trailer)

Nope, we didn’t crash and have to get our bikes towed! (Kendon Motorcycle Trailer)

Not Just Your Average Monday.

Earlier this week I had the honor of attending back to back track days with my friends at Reg Pridmore’s CLASS Motorcycle School.

I attended a special, unique event earlier in April just for women riders but this one was one of their regular 2 day events at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, VA. My husband and I loaded up our bikes on the RevZilla Trailer (#IloveMyJob) and drove out Sunday, October 14th.

Here I am dancing with our bikes?

Here I am dancing with our bikes?

We rented one of the fancy garages at the track and made our home for the next 2 days.

By the way, we didn’t bring half the stuff most people bring with them to the track. Everyone will tell you something different, but I can tell you that you’ll probably use half of what you actually bring. So this is our simplified list in order of importance:

  1. Our track gear (duh!); suits, helmets, gloves, boots, back protectors

  2. Our bikes and keys

  3. Painters tape and duct tape (painters tape goes first, then duct tape. You’ll see why in a minute)

  4. Clean clothes for 3 nights since we left Sunday and got back Wednesday

  5. Chairs (because standing around all the time is tiring)

  6. Tool box (we have this one from Sonic). Of course we didn’t use everything but it does have some nice moto specific tools that can come in handy. I mainly used the tools to remove my mirrors, reinstall them afterwards and tighten up some loose ends.

  7. Cleaners, paper towels:

    1. Mucoff products: dry chain lube & degreaser, protectant, goggle/faceshield cleaner

    2. Simple Green; general, all purpose cleaner

  8. Tire compressor (so you can adjust your tire pressure below street levels. I drop mine to 28 front and rear for a little more stick)

  9. Tie downs to tie the bikes down to the trailer

  10. A few snacks/drinks

Oh and did I mention that because we went to the South Course on Day 1 (not North as planned), we had to leave our cozy paddock behind! So we managed all day without anything with us, and relied on track friends to help us out.

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In retrospect I could’ve used extra fuel, but there was a Sunoco station on site, just on the other side of the parking lot. This was the first track day where my fuel light actually went on at the end of the last session!

We got in Sunday night a little late but stayed up to tape up our headlights and turn signals. You didn’t have to take your mirrors if you didn’t want to but I found them distracting and they were easy enough to remove.

This is why you need duct tape and painters tape, so you can make eyes! Let’s just say my husband’s creativity inspired me. Remember to never directly apply duct tape to your lights and mirrors, you want to use painters tape first and then you can go crazy with funny colors and what not.

Although Hurricane Michael hit the weekend before, we had the privilege of riding both courses at VIR; both the North and South Courses. Originally we were only supposed to ride the North Course but it just worked out that we were able to do South on Day 1 and North on Day 2.

The South Course was a shorter, slower paced track. The upside to this is that I got to do more laps than I normally would have. The schedule for CLASS was a little different than track days I’ve done in the past with other organizations.

As with every track day, the day started first thing (7:30am-8:00am) with Check In and Tech Inspection followed by a safety meeting where rules and information for the day was presented and shared by Reg’s team.

These rules were imposed on both groups, regardless of experience level or training so you know that everyone is on the same page and things will go as safely as possible.

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Reg also impressed upon us a few other thoughts that he truly believed were important to our time at VIR for the next 2 days. I find these messages are important, not only for the track but for the street too:

  1. Slowing down, maintaining control

  2. Courtesy and consideration

  3. Learning not speeding

I can feel the instructor’s (orange shirt) eyes on the back of my head watching my pitiful form.

I can feel the instructor’s (orange shirt) eyes on the back of my head watching my pitiful form.

I found this message to be comforting, empowering and set a positive tone for the riding ahead. One of the many personal rules I have about riding motorcycles is not riding in large groups of strangers (outside the confines of an organized, training ride with a dedicated riding organization e.g. large public rallies and parades. It simply makes me nervous because out on the street, the training and riding environment is vastly different. When a group of riders are at the track together, we’re generally on the same page. We know we’ve come here because we know it’s safer, and our environment is controlled and organized in a way that cannot be matched to a track day. I always feel 100% safer on the track than I do on the street.

As the day went on, I found myself finally figuring out this track and feeling the most confident at of course, the last lap. It took me all morning and afternoon to get my lines just right.

And as much as I wanted to get my knee down, I decided to shift my focus on hitting my apexes just right and keeping my line tight, not wide because on the street that can be a very dangerous outcome. (Imagine going wide on a 2 lane, 2 way road over the double yellows!) I finally started feeling more confident to take my lines tighter and get over my fear of going wide.  

Trying my best to hug those apexes and keep a tight, inside line per the Mantra of Reg Pridmore.

Trying my best to hug those apexes and keep a tight, inside line per the Mantra of Reg Pridmore.

There were only two groups, A and B. A was for Advanced Pace and B was for Relaxed Pace. I started out in A the first day on the South Course. Although I did fine in that group I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the pace of the other rides so halfway through day 2, I opted to ride in Group B. The group was smaller, so more room and more laps! I hardly ran into any traffic and it felt like I had the track to myself. I also had lots of opportunities for coaches to follow me and for me to follow them. Pretty much every session, there was a coach available if I needed help.

There was also a small Triumph contingent, which was also comforting.

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You might be able to see in the background, that there were quite a few non traditional sportbikes that attended too!

And yep, they also fully attended both days. SEEE?? Track Days aren’t just for Sportbikes!

It’s for everyone, anyone. It’s all about finding the right one for you, and contacting local track schools to see if their program fits in with your goals and objectives as a rider. I have a list on my website here, of advanced, nontraditional track day training around the country that I highly recommend.

http://www.gearchic.com/beyond-basic-training/

But if you do some searching online I’m sure you’ll find local schools that will be more than happy to provide you advanced street training on the racetrack.

Or, sign up for a class with Reg and Gigi and tell them I sent you!

For more information on CLASS Motorcycle Schools including dates and prices, visit their website: ClassRides.com. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.

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Shoutout to Shoei Helmets and Honda for sponsoring CLASS and making sure that the instructors have the best helmets and bikes as well.

My Gear:

  1. Helmet: Bell Race Star, Ace Cafe

  2. Suit: Alpinestars Womens Motegi V1 Race Suit (new version)

  3. Gloves: Racer High Racer Womens Gloves

  4. Boots: Dainese Womens Torque Out D1 Boots

  5. Back Protector: Alpinestars Nucleon KR-1, SM

And in case the men out there are wondering about my husband’s gear:

  1. Helmet: Bell Star Helmet (Pre 2015)

  2. Suit: Revit Venom Suit

  3. Gloves: Held Evo Thrux

  4. Boots: Dainese Torque Out D1 Mens Boots (same as mine)

  5. Back Protector: Alpinestars KR Adventure; he said it was more comfortable than the model I have